Monday, March 18, 2013


The men’s CRW (Christian Retreat Weekend) 2013 closed yesterday with cheers of joy, love, peace, and freedom.  Freedom in Christ.  My eyes witnessed miracle upon miracle this weekend while helping.  For my family and me, the miracle happened when my shy, quiet, keeps-everything-to-himself husband stood up in front of a room of about 100 men and gave his testimony of forgiveness.  How ONLY through the power of our holy God was he able to step out of his comfort zone to share with other men what God has done in his life.  How he forgives because he has been forgiven first by the only One that matters. And all the glory to God, because without Him, our marriage would not have survived.  Without God, I shudder to think where we would both be.  Modern day miracles – they do still happen, just maybe not the way you think they should happen! 

Our story is one of infidelity, pride, faithlessness, and dysfunction. I should say our story WAS a story of those things.  God has redeemed our story creating a new one, with Him at the center. A new story of grace, humility, love, and compassion.  From the pit of muck and mire He rescued us.  Like a mother bird caring for her chicks, He plucked us out of the mud, cleaned us up with His gentle touch, and carefully placed us under His wing for protection.  Amen to saving grace!  There is no more hiding, no more lying, no more faking it.  We are free to be US, as God created us to be – no more worrying about what others think of us.  No more being ashamed of what we went through because ultimately His plan has prevailed.  Yes, there were earthly consequences and deep sorrow for our actions, but ultimately, it was JESUS who paid for our sins and failures on that cross, NOT US. 

There is a certain healing that comes with giving your story.  Through all of the hurt that Jed and I have both endured working through, we both learned about ourselves.  A certain strength grew.  A strength to fight for our God, to fight against what is wrong, to stand firm in our faith…TOGETHER.  What an amazing feeling to be a part of God’s kingdom doing HIS work.  We also learned about the people around us and how to see them with different eyes.  A change in perspective.   Because God sees US differently than the world sees us.  

I realize that there are still people out there who still don’t understand our story or our journey to faith.  They don’t understand that it isn't just one single event that tears a marriage apart.  You can’t have a house without walls, and you can’t have a marriage without love and respect.  It’s just easier to place blame on the most obvious failures that everyone sees.  But our lives are like puzzle pieces.  We only see bits and pieces of the lives of those around us, but God sees the whole puzzle put together. He sees how the sexual abuse piece fits together with the eating disorder piece.  How the death of a family member piece fits together with the drug and alcohol abuse piece.  How the verbal abuse piece fits together with infidelity piece.  God sees so much more than us.  He sees the reasons and motives behind everything that happens - He sees what we don’t.  So before you look at a marriage and think, “They've got the perfect marriage” or “Why is she still with that guy?”, remember that God sees something we don’t.  Maybe that “perfect marriage” is on the brink of divorce.  Maybe she’s still with “that guy” because behind closed doors he treats her with respect and dignity and makes her laugh.  Don’t believe everything you “think” you see.  Don't judge what you don't know.

As I watched over 100 men file into the chapel for the closing of the weekend yesterday, one thought popped into my head.  No drug, no relationship, no amount of money can replace that feeling of being truly free in Christ.  It was a high like none other I have ever experienced before.  Those God moments are so incredibly precious to me and they just keep getting better!  Thank you Lord for your unending mercies.  Thank you for always keeping Your promises to prosper and not harm us!

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written. I also was on a high and loved to see the freedom in Jed and the rest of the men from the weekend. I am glad I was able to hear your story so that I, myself, stopped judging. If I learned one loud and in your face thing that weekend, It was that I am not to judge, I will try my hardest to realize that there is a story behind everyone, and we all have a story , all different, and all what make us who we are today. Challenge yourself to stop and think before you judge, "What may their story be ?" God Bless, Lori